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    James D. VanDerMark
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Monroe County History - 1884

Transcribed from “Counties of Morgan, Brown and Monroe, Indiana”, written by Charles Blanchard, published 1884



 The territory now comprising the county of Monroe was formerly the undisputed domain of the Miamis. This is also true of all of Indiana. At the treaty of Greenville, Ohio, in 1795, Little Turtle, or Mish-e-keno-quah, the head chief of the Miamis, and one of the most intelligent and renowned aboriginal Americans of any tribe, that ever lived, stated to the Government Commissioners that the Miamis formerly owned all the territory within the following bounds: From Detroit south to the Scioto River and down the same to the Ohio, thence down the Ohio to the mouth of the Wabash, thence up the same to near Covington, thence north to Lake Michigan, thence east to Detroit. Immediately after the Revolutionary war, the efforts to colonize the lands west of the Atlantic coast were so extensive and persistent that the natives inhabiting those regions were forced slowly back into the wilderness upon the territory of their Western brethren, and thus the broad domain of the Miamis was invaded by homeless natives of various tribes, who were given tracts of territory upon which to hunt and live. At what time the Delawares, Shawanees, Wyandots, Pottawatomies, Piankeshaws, Weas, Kickapoos, etc., gained a footing upon the soil of Indiana cannot be stated with certainty, but there seems to be no doubt that Little Turtle stated the truth when he claimed all of the above bounded territory as the former domain of his people the Miamis. It is possible that some of the tribes named above occupied portions of Indiana before the Revolutionary war. The former home of the Delawares was on the Delaware River, and later in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, and still later in Indiana. The original home of the Wyandots was in Canada, and later in Michigan and Northern Ohio, and still later in Southern Indiana. The Shawanees were of Southern origin, and were wanderers, but finally were given a home in Southeastern Indiana, and also a section of country on the Wabash about La Fayette. The Pottawatornies seem to have owned territory in Northern illinois and Southern Wisconsin, and to have gained from the Miamis at some early period by invasion or conquest much of the land of Indiana north of the Wabash. The- Weas, Kickapoos, Piankeshaws and Pecankeeshaws seem to have owned land along the western boundary of the State. At the treaty of Port Wayne on the 80th of September, 1809, the second article was made to read as follows:

“The Miamis explicitly acknowledge the equal right of the Delawares with themselves to the country watered by the White River. But it is also to be clearly understood that neither party shall have the right of disposing of the same without the consent of the others, and any improvements which shall be made on the said land by the Delawares, or their friends, the Mohecans, shall be theirs forever.” As to the territory of Monroe County, it seems to have been on the boundary between the land of the Delawares and that of the Piankeshaws and Pecankeeshaws, so that it was the home and bunting ground of the three tribes as well as the Miamis.




The territory now composing the county of Monroe was not obtained from the Indians wholly at one time. The old Indian boundary which extends from near Gosport in a southeasterly direction, leaving the county at Section 26, Benton Township, divides two important Indian cessions The territory of Monroe County south of that boundary was part of Harrison’s Purchase, obtained from the Indians by the treaty of Fort Wayne, September 30, 1809; and all of Monroe County above that boundary was part of the New Purchase, obtained from the Indians by the treaty at St. Mary’s, Ohio, October 2nd to 6th, 1818. As Monroe County was organized before the last named treaty was effected, it will be seen that all of the present county north of the Indian boundary was not at first a part of the county. The exact boundary of the county when first formed will be seen from the act creating the county, quoted entire a few pages in advance. 




The survey of all the lands of Monroe County lying south of the old Indian boundary occurred in the autumn of 1812, Arthur Henrie and William Harris being the surveyors. AU of the county north of the Indian boundary was surveyed in 1819 by Thomas Brown and J. Hedges. Although that portion south of the old boundary was surveyed in 1812, the land was not thrown into market until 1816, at which many entries were made, the following being a complete list for that year: In Township 7 north, Range 2 west: William Bigger, Richard Beam, John Kutch, Isaac Withers, John M. Sadler, Archibald Wood, William King. John Storm, Elzy  Woodward and Henry Speed In Township 7 north. Range 1 west: HenryBurkhart, Thomas Grimes, William Anderson, Bartlett Woodward, Adam Darling, Robert Fields, Roult & Brenton, William Bigger, Fetters & Hughes, George Buskirk, George Paul, John Musser, Michael Buskirk, John Vanderoot, Michael Harvey, Jacob Muinma, Jonathan Lindley, John Durham, Samuel Caldwell, John White, William Carl and William Craig. Township 8 north, Range 2. west: Arthur Patterson, Wright & Morgan, Jacob Cutler, William Wright, David Sears, James Parks, James Matlock, John Cutler, John Allen, Jonathan Rains, John Carr, John W. Lee, James Borland, Michael Wood,  David Matlock, John Collins. Joseph Berry, William Wilson, William Newoomb, John Harvey, Jonathan Nichols, Solomon Green, Levin Lawrence, Adam Bower, John Briscoe, Jesse Tarkington, Thomas McCrang, Josiah Jackson, John Johnson and Joseph Richardson. Township 9 north, Range 1 west: John  Ketchum, Henry Wampier, Thomas Smith, James Matlock, William Julien, William J. Adair, John Kell, C. and F. Bullett, John Owens, Daniel Stout, Samuel Caldwell, Roderick Rollins, Joseph Taylor, David Raymond, Jacob Benderback, Eleazer Dagget, James Borland, Gideon. Frisbee, John Lee, William Matlock, Samuel Camphreys, Thomas Graham, Abraham Appier, Chris Esliug, George Ritchey, George Hedrick, David Rogers, Henry Rogers, John Thompson, Wheeler Mallett, Samuel Scott, Nicholas . Fleener, William Jackson, John Jackson and Thomas Heady. Township 9 north, Range 2 west: Joseph Evans, Asa Osborn, Lewis Noel, Jonathan Gilbert, George Cutler, George Sharp, James Goodwin, Joseph Harris, Ambrose Canton, John Simons, John Gordon, John MoCormck, William Thornton, Abel Bigelow, David Johnson, John Fallen, William Baker, David Sears, Samuel Zunicks, William Oliver, Thomas Hodges and Benjamin Johnson. Township 10 north, Range 2 west: John Fulien about all of Section 4, Abner Evans, Archibald Wood, Jonathan Gilbert, C. & F. Ballett, Fettus & Hughes, John McCormick, Julius Woodward, William Milliken, William Kelso, John Bigger, Samuel Jennings, nearly all of whom entered several hundred acres each. No entry was made before September, 1816, and during the remainder of that year entries were only made west of the meridian line and south of the old Indian boundary. These entries were all in the present townships of Clear Creek, Indian Creek, Van Buren, Richland, Bloomington and Bean Blossom. Several tracts were purchased by speculators, but the greater number passed to actual residents or to those who became actual residents.




SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, That from and after the 10th day of April next, all that part of the county of Orange inclosed in the following bounds shall form and constitute a new county: Beginning on the line of Orange and Jackson Counties where the line dividing Townships 6 and 7 crosses the same; thence west with the last mentioned line to the line dividing Ranges 2 and 8 west of the Second Principal Meridian; thence north with said range line to the Indian boundary; thence southeastwardly with said boundary to the line of Orange and Jackson Counties; thence south with the same to the beginning to be known and designated by the name and style of the county of Monroe. And the said county of Monroe shall enjoy all the rights, privileges and jurisdictions which to separate counties do or may properly belong or appertaIn.


SEC. 2. John Penicks and Jonathan Jones, of Orange County; Daniel Connor, of Daviess County; David Fonts, of Washington County, and Samuel Burcham, of Jackson County, be, and they are hereby appointed Commissioners for the purpose of fixing the permanent seat of justice in Monroe County, agreeably to an act of Assembly entitled “An act fixing the seat of justice in all new counties here

after laid off.” The Commissioners above named shall convene at the house of Abner Blair, of said new county, on the first Monday of April next, and then proceed to discharge the duties assigned them by law.


SEC. 3. It shall be the duty of the Sheriff of said new county to notify the above named Commissioners, either in person or by writing, of their said appointments and of the time and place at which they are required by this act to meet, at least six days previous to the day appointed for their meeting, and the said Sheriff shall be allowed a reasonable compensation for his services out of the first money in the treasury of the said county of Monroe to be paid as the county claims usually are.


SEC.. 4. The Board of County Commissioners of said new county shall, within twelve months after the permanent seat of justice shall have been established, proceed to erect the necessary public buildings thereon.


SEC. 5. Until suitable accommodations can be had (in the opinion of the Circuit Court) at the seat of justice for said county, alt the courts which by law become necessary to be held at the county seat shall be holden at the house of Abner Blair aforesaid, or at any other place in the same neighborhood to which the Circuit Court may. for the purpose of getting better accommodations,. think proper to adjourn, after which time the said courts shall be adjourned to the seat of justice established as aforesaid.


SEC. 6. The agent to be appointed for the county of Monroe shall reserve in his hands ten per centum out of the net proceeds of the sales of lots, which may be made at the seat of justice of said county for the use of a county  library, which sum or sums of money so reserved shall be paid by said agent or his successor in office over to such person or persons as may be authorized to receive the same, in such manner and with such installments as may be directed by law. This act to take effect from and after its publication in print.

Approved January 14, 1818.


In accordance with the provisions of this enactment, the machinery of the county was immediately put in running order. An election was ordered held under the supervision of the Sheriff, John W. Lee, appointed by the Governor, for the necessary county officers. Bartlett Woodward, Michael Buskirk and James Parks were elected County Commissioners; William Lowe, County Clerk and Auditor; Ohesley Bailey, Recorder; Joseph Berry and Lewis Noel, Associate Judges. The details of this election cannot be given, as the tally sheets were not preserved. The election took place early in 1818. The house of Abner Blair was the first court house, but Bloomington was immediately laid out and a log court house built. The Commissioners appointed by the Legislature to locate the county seat met, deliberated, and finally submitted the following report to the first County Board:




We, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed by an act of the last General Assembly, for fixing the permanent seat of justice in and for said county, having met agreeable to the above recited act, and after being duly sworn, proceeded to business as the law directs in such cases, to receive donations from persons offering lands to fix the county seat on, and after examining the same and taking into contemplation the future as well as the present weight of population, together with additions and divisions that may take place hereafter, do agree that the southwest quarter of Section 33, in Range 1 west,

Township 9 north, is the most eligible and convenient place for the permanent seat of justice for said. county, and have accordingly purchased the same of D. Rogers, at $1,200; also have purchased 150 acres out of the northeast quarter of Section 32, of Robertson Graham, for $900. in the same range and township above mentioned, the said Robertson reserving the balance of the above described quarter section of land to himself in the northeast corner of said quarter section of land, beginning at the northeast corner and running south twenty poles, thence west eighty poles, thence north twenty poles, containing ten acres.

Given under our hands and seals this 11th day of April, 1818.








The first meeting of the Commissioners of Monroe County was held at the house of Abner Blair on the 10th of April, 1818. The CommIssioners were Bartlett Woodward, Michael Buskirk and James Parks, the time which each was to serve being determined by the comparative number of votes polled for them. Mr. Woodward received the highest number of’ votes, and was to serve three years; Mr. Buskirk the next highest, and was to serve two years; and Mr. Parks, the lowest, and was to serve one year. The first official act was the appointment of William Lowe County Clerk, pro tempore, and the second was the appointment of Capt. James Bigger as Lister or Assessor of the county for the year 1818, his bond being fixed at $1,500. Roderick Rawlings was then appointed County Treasurer, and required to give bond in the sum of $20,000. On the second day of this first session, the board adopted a temporary county seal, which was simply a scrawl inclosing the words, “Temporary seal of Monroe County.” William Millikan was appointed Superintendent of the sixteenth section in Township 10 north, Range 2 west; George Parks the same in Township 9 north, Range 2 west; William Newcomb the same in Township 8 north, Range 2 west; James Wright, the same in Township 7 north, Range 2 west; John Storm, the same in Township 7 north, Range 1 west; William Matlock the same in Township 9 north, Range 1 west. Benjamin Parks was appointed County Agent, with bond at $20,000. By order of the board the county seat was to be known as Bloomington. The Commissioners who had been appointed by the General Assembly to fix the county seat of Monroe County were ordered paid as follows: David Fonts, $33; John Pernicks, $30; Jonathan Jones, $30; Samuel Burcham, $30. The first petition for a county road came from William Hardin and others, and was to extend from Bloomington to Scott’s Ferry on Salt Creek, and thence to the Lawrence County line. William Jackson, John Scott and William Craig were appointed Viewers. This road was ordered built and was the first constructed wholly at the expense of the county. The town of Bloomington was then ordered laid off, the County Agent to have exclusive management. On the third day of this first session a double log court house was ordered built for the temporary use of the county, an account of which will be found elsewhere. On this day the first grand jurors of Monroe County were selected as follows: Dudley Carl, William Chambers, David Chambers, John Scott, John Mercer, Thomas Grimes, John Berry, William Newcomb, Jesse Tarkginton, Solomon Green, Jonathan Nichols, George Sharp, William Milliken, George Parks Sr., Coleman Paitt, Eli Lee, William Hardin and Henry Wampler. The Sheriff in attendance, John W. Lee, was ordered to notify the above men to meet for action at the house of Abner Blair. The traverse jury was then selected as follows: William Matlock, George Birdrick, John Thompson, Samuel Scott, Thomas Clark, Jonathan Rains, John Storm Jr., John Couch, John Matlock, John Cutler, Joseph Peeshaw, David Sears, Elijah Morgan, James Wright and James Matlock. The first county road above referred to was reported on by the Viewers in May, 1818, and ordered built. Jonathan Rogers, Robert Russell and Samuel Scott were appointed Road Supervisors. The Sheriff, John W. Lee, was paid $18 for notifying the locating Commissioners of their appointments, and was also paid $7 for making the returns of the first election held in the county.


Bloomington was immediately laid off, and the lots were offered for sale at public auction. A full report of these sales will be found in the chapter on the town. The proceeds from the sale of lots were the principal source of revenue for a number of years. The board from the first were forced to issue orders at a discount, which were afterward ordered received for county dues. Wild-cat bank issues were the only paper money then, and almost every early report of the Treasurer shows an entry to his credit of certain per centum of depreciation on the. bank bills in his possession. The holder of a bank bill in those days was not sure that the next morning would not find his bill greatly depreciated in value, if not absolutely worthless. What a contrast with the excellent stable paper currency of the present.


Capt. James Bigger, County Lister, was ordered paid $32 for his services. A tax of 871/2 cents was levied on each horse; 50 cents on each 100 acres of first class land; 43 3/4 cents on each 100 acres of second class land; and 25 cents on each 100 acres of third class land. In February, 1819, the board fixed store license at $7.50 in Bloomington, and at $5 in the country They also, curiously enough, fixed the charges of tavern keepers as follows: 25 cents for breakfast; 25 cents for dinner; 18 3/4 cents for supper; lodging 61/4 cents; corn or oats, per gallon, 12 1/2 cents; horse at fodder or hay, 25 cents; one half pint of whisky, 12 1/2 cents; one half pint of brandy, 18 3/4 cents; one half pint of rum or French brandy, 37 1/2 cents; one half pint of wine, 37 1/2  cents. We may now smile at the folly of our fathers; but, after all, are we any wiser or better? The following standard weights and measures were also ordered obtained A foot measure; a yard; a dry bushel of 1,075.2 cubic inches; a dry half bushel; a wine gallon of 231 cubic inches; one set of avoirdupois weights; a quart; a pint, and a half pint. Lewis Noel became Lister in 1820. In August, 1820, Benjamin Parks, County Agent, reported that the total sales and rents of the town lots and other donated lands amounted to the surprising sum of $27,874.58 1/2, with which figures he was charged. He was credited with notes worth $18,360.54; with cash paid over, $9,383.73; with discounts on bad currency, $98.80; balance on hand, $32.51 1/2. This exhibits the rapid growth of Bloomington.


In August, 1820, Addison Smith succeeded Benjamin Parks as County Agent. Late in 1820, James Borland succeeded Roderick Rawlins as County Treasurer. AddisonSmith was the Census Enumerator in 1820. He was also the Lister for 1821, and C. J. Hand in 1823. Jesse Moore was Lister in 1819.




The first term of this court was held on the first Monday in June, 1818, at the house of Abner Blair, by Hon. Thomas H. Blake, President Judge, and Joseph Berry and LewisNoel, Associate Judges. The first act of the court  was the issuance of a writ of ad quod damnum for the benefit of Robert Hamilton to ascertain what damage would be caused by his erection of a grist and saw mill and a dam on his land on Section 24. Township 8 north, Range 2 west, on Clear Creek. The Sheriff John W. Lee, was directed to summon twelve fit persons to ascertain the damage. They reported that the land of James Speed  would be damaged to the amount of $158.. Nothing farther seems to have been done until the September term, at which time the first case came to trial. It was David Teague vs. Leonard Nicholson, trespass on the case for words Spoken, damages being laid out $,000. The attorney for the plaintiff was Addison Smith, and for the defendant John F. Ross. Before suit was begun, the defendant stated that if the plaintiff would desist from farther prosecution he would pay all Coats thus far; which proposition was accepted by the plaintiff  and the defendant was discharged. At this term the court convened at the new log court house in Bloomington. The following men constituted the first grand jury: Jonathan Nichols, William Anderson, Edward Armstrong, John Treat, David McHollen, Thomas B. Clark, Abner Blair, Julius Dugger, John Tullen, James Ellege, John Storm, Joseph Cox, Joseph Baugh and Joseph Gilbert. They were sworn, sent out, and soon returned with the following “true bills :“ State of Indiana vs. James Green, larceny (stealing a rifled gun owned by John W. Lee). John Law was the Prosecuting Attorney. The defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charge, and the following first petit jury was impaneled to try the case: Joseph Perisho, John M. Sadler, Isaiah Wright, James Thompson, George Parks Sr., Absalom Morgan, John Wakefield, Solomon ----- , David Scott, Jonathan Gilbert, Granville Ward and John ----- . The evidence was heard and the jury was sent out. They returned the following verdict: “We of the jury do find the traverse guilty.” The defendants counsel moved an arrest of judgment, which was granted until the next day, upon which occasion the following reasons for an arrest of judgment were filed: “1. It does not appear upon the record that the jurors sworn to try said cause were good and lawful men. 2. It is bad for uncertainty, as it does not appear that Clear Creek Township is within Monroe County, so as to preclude intendment. 3. It is informal in its conclusion, as it does not conclude in a manner directed by the constitution. 4. The verdict is against law and evidence.” The court overruled the motion and rendered judgment as follows: The defendant to pay to John W. Lee $30, to pay a fine of $30, to pay costs of prosecution, and to stand committed until sentence be complied with.


On the second day of the September term, the grand jury returned a bill against Seth Goodwin for assault and battery upon Jacob Leabo. The case was continued until the March (1819) term of the court, at which time Leabo himself was fined $9.50 for an assault. The March term of the court was held by the Hon. Gen. Washington Johnston, President Judge of the First Judicial Circuit, and Joseph Berry and Lewis Noel, Associates. George R. C. Sullivan was Prosecuting Attorney. Seth Goodwin was fined 6 1/4 cents for his assault on Leabo. At this term also came the action of debt, David Teauge vs. William Baker. Teauge had hired to Baker for $205 to build a mill-dam, mill, etc., but had failed, as alleged by the plaintiff, to pay all that was due. Suit was dropped, a compromise being effected. The next case was G. W; Harden vs. William Harden on a debt of $487.50 with interest, which amount was recovered by the plaintiff. At the June term, 1819, the Hon. Jonathan Doty, President Judge, held court, assisted by the above named Associates.




The first court of this character was held at Bloomington on the 31st day of August, 1818, by Joseph Berry and Lewis Noel, Associate Judges. The first act was as follows: On motion of Eli Lee, it was " ordered that William Dorsey, infant son of Joseph Dorsey (deceased) and Sarah Dor­sey, born January 24, 1811, be bound unto Eli Lee and Sarah Lee until he arrives at the age of twenty one years, to learn the art of agriculture; whereupon the said Eli Lee and Sarah Lee, together with William, their security, entered into bond in the penal sum of $500, conditioned that the said Eli Lee and Sarah Lee learn (teach) him, the said William Dorsey, reading, writing, and arithmetic as far as the rule of three; and also to find him in wholesome diet, washing, lodging and clothing, and to deal with him in all cases as an apprentice ought to be dealt with, and to find him upon his becoming of age the sum of $10 and a good suit of clothes. At this time also, Dorcas Dorsey, infant daughter of Joseph Dorsey, deceased, was bound out to George Hedrick. This was the only business performed at the first session of the court. In vacation, letters of administration were granted to David Chambers upon the estate of James Sheffield, deceased.


At the March term, 1819, Lory Loving was granted letters of administration on the estate and last will and testament of John Loving, deceased. At this term. David Chambers, administrator of the estate of John Henson, deceased, returned the following inventory of the sales of such estate: One kettle, 50 cents; one kettle, $3; one kettle, $3; one pot, $2.75; one pot, $2.62 1/2 ; fire dogs, $2; one shovel, 62 1/2  cents; one plow (spelled plough), $4.40 ; leather, $1; leather, $1; one steel trap, $3; one plate, $1.25; three hoes, 50 cents; one basket, 31 1/4  cents; one churn, 6 1/4 cents; one cutting knife, $1.66 1/4 ; smith tools, $5.87 1/2; one curry comb, 54 cents; one ladle, 12 1/2 cents; one reeler, 21 cents; one pair of steelyards, $2.36 1/4 ; two chairs, 62 1/2 cents; three pair of cards; 50 cents; sheep shears, 52 cents; tobacco, $2.82; one keg, 46 cents; one barrel, 75 cents; one note, $20.25; one note, $2.25; one hackle, $4; one reed and gears, $1.18 3/4; one reed and gears, 50 cents; total.


This list is given here to show what  personal property our grandparents possessed. It will not bear close inspection under the critical and aristocratic eye of the present generation, but it is an honest record that speaks in volumes of the self denial of early times.


" Let not ambition mock their useful toil—

Their homely joys and destiny obscure—

Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,

The short and simple annals of the poor."





At the first session of the Commissioners, the following townships were laid off: Bloomington Township—Beginning at the corner of Sections 18 and 19, where they intersect the line dividing Ranges 1 and 2 west; thence north on said range line to the boundary line ; thence southeast with said line to where the Jackson line intersects the same ; thence south of the Jackson line to the middle of fractional Township 8; thence through the middle of Township 8 to the place of beginning. Beanblos-som Township—Beginning on the line dividing Ranges 1 and 2 west, at the corner of Sections 13 and 14, where they intersect the same; thence north on said line to the boundary line; thence northwest on the boundary line to the northwest corner of Monroe County; thence south on Daviess County line to the middle of Township 8; thence through the middle of said town to the place of beginning. Indian Creek Township —Beginning at the corner of Beanblossom and Bloomington Townships, on the line dividing Ranges 1 and 2 west; then south on said line to the Lawrence County line; thence west on said line to where it intersects the county line of Daviess; thence north on said line to the corner of Bean-blossom Township ; thence on the line of the last mentioned township to the place of beginning. Clear Creek Township—Beginning at the corner of the townships interlocked on the line dividing Ranges 1 and 2 west; thence south on said line to the county line of Lawrence; thence east on said line to where it intersects the Jackson County line; thence north on said line to the corner of Bloomington Township ; thence on the last mentioned line to the place of beginning. Granville Ward was appointed Inspector of Elections in Bloomington Township; John Cutler, same in Beanblossom Township; James Trotter, same in Indian Creek; and John Storm, same in Clear Creek. Elections were ordered held in the above townships on the 9th of May for two Justices of the Peace in each, the elections to be held at the following places: Bloomington Township, at the house of David Rogers; Beanblossom Township, at the house of Coleman Peets; Indian Creek, at the house of John Berry; Clear Creek, at the house of Thomas Graham.


In May, 1821, Lamb's Township, in the new purchase, was created as follows: Beginning at the old Indian boundary line, where the line of Township 10 intersects the same; thence east on the line of Town 10 until it intersects the meridian line; thence north with said line to the southeast corner of Township 13; thence west on the line between Townships 12 and 13 until it intersects the said boundary line; thence to the beginning. This township now composes the southwestern portion of Morgan County, and took its name from old man Lamb, who settled in Lamb's Bottom, that county, in 1819, before it was a county. At the same" time this township was created, Walnut Creek Township was also erected, with the following boundaries: Beginning at the northeast corner of Lamb's Township on the meridian line; thence north on said line to the northwest corner of Township 15 north; thence west on the line dividing Townships 15 and 16 until it intersects the boundary line ; thence southeast on said boundary line until it intersects the line of Lamb's Township. This township comprised the northwestern portion of Morgan County. At this time also was created Raccoon Township, with the following bounds : All of Wabash County north of Walnut Creek Township. All this territory had been attached by the Legislature to Monroe County. Reuben Fullen was appointed Inspector for Lamb's Township, and Samuel Rogers the same for Walnut Creek Township.


On the 1st day of March, 1825, it was " ordered that a township be laid off in the northeast corner of the county, to be known by the name of Jackson, and designated by the following bounds, to wit: Beginning at the northeast corner of said county, thence west eight miles to the meridian line, thence south to the line dividing Townships 8 and 9, thence east eight miles to the county line, thence north on said line to the beginning." An election was ordered held on the last Saturday of April, 1825, at the house of Banner Brummett, for the purpose of electing a Justice of the Peace, with Elias Swift, Inspector. A three mile strip on the west side of Brown County was then a part of Monroe County.


In May, 1825, Salt Creek Township was created, as follows: Beginning at the southeast corner of said county; thence west to where the meridian line intersects the same; thence north on the meridian line to where the corner of Townships 8 and 9 intersect the same; thence east on the line dividing said Townships 8 and 9 to where the same intersects the county line; thence south on said line to the place of beginning. Elections were ordered held at the house of Boston Bails. John Pollard and Ezekiel Hendricks were appointed Fence Viewers, and George Todd and Solomon Butcher, Overseers of the Poor, and Henry Kendall, Inspector.


In July, 1828, it was ordered that all the territory attached to Monroe County (on the east), by an act of the Legislature of 1827—28, should be attached to the townships of Salt Creek and Jackson, as follows: Beginning at a point on the line dividing Townships 7 and 8, Range 3 east, where the line dividing Sections 31 and 82 intersect the same; thence. north to the line dividing Townships 8 and 9; thence west to the former county line of Monroe County; thence south to the line dividing Townships 7 and 8; thence east to the place of beginning—such territory to form a part of Salt Creek Township. Also : Beginning at the northeast corner of Salt Creek Township, as above enlarged; thence north to the line dividing Johnson and Bartholomew Counties; thence west to the northeast corner of Monroe County, thence south to the northern boundary of Salt Creek Township, thence east to the place of beginning—such territory should form a part of Jackson Township. It will be observed that the territory thus attached to Salt Creek and Jackson Townships now constitutes much of the western half of the present county of Brown. ' In July, 1829, two new townships were erected, as follows: Washington Township—Beginning at a point on the meridian line between Townships 10 and 11 north; thence west with said line dividing Townships 10 and 11 aforesaid to the line dividing Ranges 1 and 2 west; thence south with said line dividing Ranges 1 and 2 aforesaid to main Bean Blossom Creek; thence in an eastern direction with said creek to the meridian line; thence north with said line to the place of beginning. Richland Town­ship—Beginning at a point where the line dividing Ranges 1 and 2 west intersects the line dividing Townships 9 and 10 north; thence west with said line last mentioned to the Owen County line; thence south with said last mentioned line to a point where the line dividing Sections 18 and 19, in Township 8 north, Range 2 west, intersect the same; thence with said line last mentioned to the range line dividing - Ranges 1 and 2 west; thence with said range line to the place of beginning. The elections for Washington Township were ordered held at the house of John Scott, with Daniel Ray, Inspector. Those in Richland Township were ordered held in the house of William D. Shrevies, with James Parks, Inspector. At the January term, 1830, it was ordered " that all territory attached by legislative enactment to the county of Monroe subsequent to the original formation of townships therein be and it is hereby attached to and included and shall compose parts of the said townships in the following manner: By extending the boundary lines of the townships which run in a direction perpendicular to the county boundary entirely thereto, and thereby attaching to the respective townships all such territory as lies adjoining thereto."


In May, 1830, pursuant to a petition signed by seventy one resident citizens, the township of Perry was ordered erected, with the following boundary: Beginning at the line dividing Sections 12 and 13, Township 8 north, Range 1 west; thence west along said line to the west line of said Township 8 north, Range 1 west; thence south to the line dividing Sections 6 and 7, Township 7 north, Range 1 west; thence east on said line to the east line of the last named township; thence north on the eastern line of said township to the place of beginning. An election was ordered held on the 26th of May, 1830, at the house of Benjamin Kenton (the old Clearwater place), for two Justices of the Peace, Mr. Kenton to serve as Inspector. Jesse Davis and George A. Ritter were appointed Overseers of the Poor; Solomon Butcher and Finney Courtney, Fence Viewers.


In May, 1833 upon petition of Jacob Romans and others, Jackson Township was divided, and Benton Township was organized from a part thereof, as follows: Jackson to be divided into two portions by the line dividing Ranges 1 and 2 east, the eastern portion to retain the name of Jackson, and the western portion to be known as " Benton Township, in honor of Thomas H. Benton, United States Senator from Missouri." An election of a Justice of the Peace was ordered held in the new township on the last Saturday in September, 1833, at the house of John Young.


In March, 1837. in pursuance of a petition from the citizens interested, the County Board ordered the creation of a new township to be known as Van Buren, to comprise all and no more of Congressional Township $ north, Range 2 west. An election of a Justice of the Peace was ordered held on the 3d of April, 1837, at the house of Conrad, who was appointed Inspector.


In September, 1849, Salt Creek Township was divided and Polk Township created, as follows : Commencing in the be,d of Salt Creek on the line dividing Township 7, Range 1 west and Range 1 east; thence due south on said township line to the south county line; thence due east to the southeast corner of the county, thence north on the county line to the Muddy Fork of Salt Creek, or where the same crosses the county line; thence down said stream to the main Salt Creek; thence down said stream to the place of beginning. An election was ordered held in the new township at he house of John Todd, at Big Springs, with Peter Norman Inspector. Wylie Davar and Samuel Axam were appointed Fence Viewers, and Wylie Davar Constable.





By an act of the Legislature, approved December 31, 1821, all of Monroe County lying west of White River was attached to Owen, the second section of the act reading as follows: All that part of Monroe County lying west of White River be and the same is hereby attached to Owen County, and that all suits, pleas, plaints, actions and prosecutions whatsoever, shall be conducted in the same manner as if no change had taken place. Section 3 of this act reads as follows: So much of the New Purchase as is contained in the following boundary, to wit: Beginning on White River where the line dividing Townships 10 and 11 north crosses the same; thence east with said line to the corners of Sections 4 and 5, Township 10 north, Range 2 east; thence south to the Monroe County line—shall form and constitute a part of Monroe County. It will be seen that this section attached to the county all of the present county north of the old Indian boundary, together with a strip three miles wide now a part of Brown County. By an act of the Legislature, approved January 16, 1828, the following territory was attached to Monroe County : Beginning at a point on the line dividing Townships 7 and 8, where the line dividing Sections 31 and 32 intersect the same; thence north with the last-mentioned line to the line dividing the counties of Johnson and Bartholomew ; thence west with said line to the northeast corner of Monroe County ; thence south to the line dividing Townships 7 and 8 ; thence east with the last mentioned line to the place of beginning.




The first courts assembled in the house of Abner Blair, but at the first session of the County Board a double log cabin was ordered erected on the public square without delay, to be used for court purposes until a better one was built. It was called the "temporary court house." The order was issued on the third day of the first session. The double cabins were to be 20x20 feet and 12x20 feet respectively, were to be ten feet apart with covered entry connecting the two—in fact, the two cabins and the entry were to be covered by one roof. The cabins were to be built of round logs, which were afterward to be hewed down. Each was to be ten feet high to the eaves, and each was to contain one door and one window. A few slight changes were made to this plan, but in the main the double building has been described. Samuel Elliott was the contractor, but the contract price cannot be stated, though it did not exceed about $400. Mr. Elliott also contracted to clear the trees from around the new court house, which he did. So rapidly was the work pushed, that the building was ready for use in August, 1818.


In October, 1818, preparations were made to build a county jail. Roderick Rawlins was authorized to draft the plan. It was to be built of oak timber a foot thick, was to stand north of the court house, was to be 30x20 feet, was to have a dungeon and a criminal's room, and a jailer's room was to be built on the east side. Roderick Rawlins took the contract. The building as described was soon completed. John Woodward built a stray pen for the town, and was paid $23 for the job. James Smith made a set of chairs for the court house. Joel Woodward, John Mercer and others dug a well on the public square. Early in 1819, a contract was called for to inclose the public square with a substantial fence, but the, work was postponed.


In February, 1819, preparations were made to build a permanent and substantial court house. The plan prepared by William Low stated that the building was to be of brick with a stone foundation, was to be two stories high, and was to be forty five feet long, east and west and forty feet wide, north and south.  


In May, 1819, Robert Stafford took the contract, but as he could not give security at the price of his bond—$20,-000—the contract was re-let to John Ketchum for $7,965. The work was begun in June, and in August the first installment of §1,000 was paid the contractor. It was at this time that posts and railings were erected around the temporary court house. Samuel Harryman was one of the brick makers for the new court house. In February, 1820, Rawlins, County Treasurer, donated certain commissions due him on receipts from the sale of town lots, provided such donation was used in the purchase of a public clock for the temporary court house. His offer was accepted. In 1820, David Teauge finished clearing the timber from the public square for $24. In February, 1820, some important changes were made in the plan of the new court house. At this time, the county jail was reported finished, but a committee appointed to examine the work found that the debtors room was incomplete, and David H. Max­well was employed to remedy the work. So the old jail had a debtors room, and that, too, in Bloomington, only sixty years ago! Well, no wonder; one could be happily utilized now, when men refuse or neglect to pay for their county histories. Enos Blair was the first jailer. In August, 1821, Mr. Ketchum was paid $4,000 on his court house contract. At this time, the rough work of the building had been completed. David Armstrong was hired to build a " cubola" (as the county clerk wrote it) on the building. For the three, years prior to December, 1822, the clerk's office was in the house of Jacob B. Lowe. He was ordered paid $60 for the rent. It was a long time before the court house was fully completed. Just why, cannot be certainly stated, but probably because the county board paid the contractor before the work was completed, whereupon he permitted the work to languish. In 1824, Edward Borland was paid $352.70 for extra woodwork on the building, and David Armstrong $1,505.20. Benjamin Neeld was also paid $24, and others, $81. Mr. Ketchum was not paid his full contract price. The building was not fully completed, outside and inside, until 1826. It cost about $8,300. The board had great trouble about a "Franklin rod," which they considered necessary for the safety of the building. Austin Seward was hired to paint the building a bright red, and then pencil it with white, and to have the work completed before September, 1826. In 1825, Samuel Dunning took the contract to build a combined clerk's office and county library room, which he did before November. Seward painted it. The public square was fenced at this time. Z. Williams did the wood work on the clerk's office. Ewing & Montgomery did the plastering. In May, 1826, the building was occupied. Mr. Z. Williams was delivered the key to the court house, and instructed to keep it locked, permitting it to be occupied only by the courts, County Commissioners, taking of depositions, Fourth of July celebrations, elections, when any person shall want admittance for the purpose of acquiring architectural knowledge, and in the discretion of the keeper to any preacher of the Gospel." When the building was fully completed, it was turned over with all its architectural excellence to the county board. And it was a fine building for that day, and Bloomington was one of the most promising towns in the State. In March, 1827, the citizens petitioned the County Board as follows: